Annual leave and returning to federal service


Q: I am retiring Jan. 2, 2010, and hope to return as a retired annuitant with dual comp waived. My human resources group tells me if I return that I will have to repay my annual leave lump sum unless I don’t return until after the period of time my leave hours would have been used up. Can this be right? Why does the government care about the annual leave payment? It’s like starting any second job — I should have no annual leave but should not need to return the payment.

A: As required by law, you will have to return every penny you received for unused annual leave that hasn’t expired between the time you retired and the time you return to work. Those remaining days of annual leave will be restored to you and, if you haven’t used them up before you leave government again, you’ll be able to receive a cash payment for them.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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